Review by Anne Egan
From the get-go our intermediate paddler felt like an elite rider. Using the Tracer makes you believe anything is possible and confidence boosting is no bad thing. At 27’’ wide it take a little time to get used to; most will quickly adjust and find their stride. Other intermediates would be fine after a short spell of familiarization.
Tracking is good, as was turning, although accurate foot placement will be needed during pivot turns. Another tester who was taller and heavier, and a little less experienced, found the 27” Tracer just a little too lively for his level but still appreciated the design aspects. If you err towards the bigger boned end of the spectrum then one of the bigger Tracers would be a better choice in this instance.
The Tracer is available in three sizes. The Master: 12.6ft by 27” wide for riders up to 78kg. The Kahauna: 12.6ft by 29” wide for riders up to 95kg, and although only a fraction different in width, the two models feel inherently different when paddling, proving you really have to try kit these days to get an accurate view of what products can do. Finally there is the 14ft Grand Master which is 28” wide and suitable for riders up to 127kg.
Other useful features include the recessed reinforced standing area giving a lower centre of gravity to bring riders closer to the water. Built in side handles and three fixing points are also great when grabbing for Le Mans starts and sprint finishes.
The Tracer fires on all cylinders, in terms of its racing prowess. If you’re looking to step up your competitive SUPing then it’ll certainly do the job you ask. While not the most technical of boards, it certainly holds its own in terms of speed and an experienced rider would smash it round the course easily.
Paddlers looking for a more engaging ride during all round SUP sessions would also do well with Tracer. Rather than offering a benign experience it’ll keep experienced sweepers interested and will go some way to help develop better technique.
BIC’s Tracer 12.6ft is an optimized race machine designed as a step up board for those moving into the realms of more technical boards. BIC’s super high end finish makes for a quality product that all paddlers would be happy to own. While not the easiest of boards for early intermediates, time and perseverance will pay dividends. If racing isn’t your bag then the Tracer would work as a lively tourer and even roll onto a few mellow waves – if the pilot is skilled enough.
Further info: www.bicsup.com